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“The Hunger Games” Movie Adaptation Casts Newcomers In Thresh And Rue Roles

Any fans of The Hunger Games series of books? As I’m sure you know by now, a movie adaptation based on the best-selling trilogy of YA novels, written by Suzanne Collins, is in the works, as the films cast gradually comes together.

I haven’t read the books, so I’m not at all equipped to discuss content or characters; but I can tell you that, about an hour ago, Lionsgate, the studio behind the project, announced, via the official Hunger Games Facebook page, that the characters named Thresh and Rue, also known as Tributes, have been cast, and both are played by relative newcomers, Dayo Okeniyi, and Amandla Stenberg – both pictured above.

For the uninitiated (myself included), The Hunger Games franchise can be summarized as follows (courtesy of In a not-too-distant future, the United States of America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war, to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year, two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcasted throughout Panem as the 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss’s young sister, Prim, is selected as the mining district’s female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart, Peeta, the son of the town baker who seems to have all the fighting skills of a lump of bread dough, will be pitted against bigger, stronger representatives who have trained for this their whole lives.

Oscar-nominee Jennifer Lawrence is playing Katniss, and Josh Hutcherson will be Peeta. There was some backlash over Lawrence’s casting, as the character in the novel is described as having “dark hair” and “olive skin;” but Racebending has all the details on that matter if you want to catch up (HERE).

The characters Thresh and Rue are definitely African American in the book, as I’ve read, so the casting here probably won’t cause any ruffles.

Who are these 2 characters? Thresh is described as “intimidatingly strong,” and “physically imposing;” Rue is the youngest tribute in the Games, and Katniss’ arena ally.

Filming is set to begin around towards the end of May, in North Carolina, under Gary Ross’ (Pleasantville, Seabiscuit) direction. Apparently, there are still many roles left to cast.

Dayo’s only credit, according to IMDBPro is a 2010 short film, as well as a part in an upcoming indie horror film titled Slew Hampshire; Amandla Stenberg has done some voice-over work for TV and film, and will play a young Zoe Saldana in the upcoming thriller Colombiana.

Like I said… newcomers.

8 comments to “The Hunger Games” Movie Adaptation Casts Newcomers In Thresh And Rue Roles

  • Jug

    New. Faces. Good!

  • Both characters come from District 11, which is the “black district”.

    Both play strong characters who befriend and save Katniss, losing their lives in the process, because you know, their lives aren’t as important to the narrative.

    I suspect Lionsgate announced this particular nugget of casting news to offset the criticism that they did not allow people of color to audition for the roles of Gale and Katniss.

    • Jug

      Definitely think they found the “benefit” of it. Bet Lionsgate is like “Hey, at least we didn’t do like AKIRA & WARNER BROS!” LOL

  • starfishncoffee

    Good move with new faces…these two are gonna get to me. Rue is a pivotal character.

  • Other song


    I read the first book – and had a great time. It was quite an enjoyable read. The ground was familiar (teens killing teens), but there were enough unique elements to make it special.

    The second book however was pretty bad. So bad I didn’t even bother reading the 3rd.

    so I’m looking forward to the movie.

  • @Other Song Actually the third book is much better than the second. I stuck with it because I got so attached to Katniss as a female protagonist.
    Collins retreads a lot of ground in Catching Fire, but Mockingjay, while not as good as The Hunger Games by any means, really does return to many of the themes and her writing is much better.

    I’m hoping that because Collins is so involved with the movie that it retains the book’s spirit. I think Jennifer Lawrence, based on her work in Winter’s Bone, will be a great Katniss. I’m just hoping they don’t turn the dynamic into a Twilight-like one.

    There’s going to be a lot of emotion surrounding Rue, those who read the books know. She and Thresh are not minor by any means. I’m not gonna spoil it, but the fact that these characters were Black slayed me.

    As for the characters of color, I’m also wondering if any of the adult characters will be cast with actors of color? I’m not holding my breath.

  • TAS

    I read all the books. Off top, that little girl doesn’t say Rue. He says Thresh. But it might work.

  • Melissa

    I heard the Katniss character was supposed to be asian or biracial or something? But they cast a white Jennifer whoever?